Culture Wars Still On at Napa

by Michael Sean Winters

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The culture wars are still on at the Napa Institute. Here is a report from Catholic News Agency about their next conference which aims to help Catholics prepare for a "hostile culture."

The money quote from Napa Chairman Tim Busch: "At one time 50 years ago, many of us went to a church that was homogeneous. We grew up in a culture that was very friendly to Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. Today our culture and our society is hostile not just to Christianity and Catholicism, but to any form of organized religion."

All three of those sentences is riddled with simplistic wrong-headedness. The Catholic Church in the U.S. has never really been homogeneous. The culture of the late '50s was exceedingly consumeristic, Jim Crow was intact, and few were the people who dared to ask whether it was a good idea to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima or carpet-bomb Dresden. How was that culture so "very friendly" to Christianity?

And the culture and society today is certainly not more markedly hostile to the faith than any one of a number other centuries. What are these people talking about? And why are so many prelates headed to Napa to listen? I hope it is just for the wine. And I hope, too, that one of those prelates will point out that at this moment, the culture and the society seem pretty ecstatic about Pope Francis. 

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